Briefing from ROAPE Volume 35 Number 115
Competition or Collaboration? Chinese & SA Transnationals
China's growing commercial interest in Africa during the past decade has been widely documented. The November 2006 Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) meeting in Beijing saw the announcement of several overarching initiatives to increase aid and commercial linkages between China and Africa. At the conference alone, according to China Daily US$ 1.9bn worth of commercial transactions took place. In addition, Chinese president Hu Jintao announced a US$5bn fund that would: ‘encourage Chinese companies to invest in Africa and provide support to them’. This China-Africa Development Fund was approved by the Chinese State Council in May 2007 according to Peoples Daily. Such actions on the part of the Chinese government reflect the economic imperatives of Chinese foreign policy, particularly towards Africa. Such diplomatic activities have thus by design paved the way for the entry of Chinese companies into all sectors of Africa's economies where they increasingly compete with South African companies for market space.